Night of music will include unveiling of song in memory of Johnny Mackay from Kettering

Johnny's mum Denise Mackay (holding the poster)
Johnny's mum Denise Mackay (holding the poster)

A night of music being held in Kettering will include the unveiling of a song written and recorded in memory of a 29-year-old man who died last year.

Simon Connolly met up in the pub with friends of Johnny Mackay from Kettering the day after Johnny took his own life in October last year.

Johnny Mackay from Kettering

Johnny Mackay from Kettering

Simon was ‘cajoled’ into singing an impromptu song about Johnny, which was videoed, and after Johnny’s family saw it, they asked Simon to perform it at the funeral.

He agreed and then he and Johnny’s family decided they wanted to get the song recorded and released as a tribute to Johnny.

Simon has spent a lot of the past year working on the song and it will have its official release during a night of music in Kettering next month.

Johnny’s mum Denise said: “It is an evening of music with bands playing, but predominantly it is to sell the CD that Simon Connolly wrote and sang the day after Johnny died.

It shows the deep love that Simon and his friends had for Johnny

Denise Mackay

“Simon will do the last 30 minutes of the show and give his take on how this CD came about, the recording, how he went to the pub the day after Johnny died and how he picked up his guitar.”

Speaking about the song, Denise said: “It shows the deep love that Simon and his friends had for Johnny, the words of the song are Johnny will never die.

“As long as we are doing what we are doing, then Johnny’s memory will never die.”

Johnny’s Happy Place was set up by friends and family after Johnny Mackay died at the age of 29 after taking his own life on October 23, 2014.

The charity has since opened a space dedicated to supporting people like Johnny after being given space at Keystone Youth Centre in Rockingham Road, Kettering.

Their cafe opened in the summer and is open every Saturday.

They decided to start by opening on Saturdays as they feel there is not much available at weekends for people with mental health issues.

As well as the cafe, they want the space at Keystone to be a place where people can go to take part in arts and crafts as Johnny was very creative and loved art.

The night of music with local bands and singers is taking place from 7.30pm on Thursday, December 10, at Kettering Arts Centre at St Andrew’s Church in Rockingham Road, Kettering.

Denise said: “This is an evening of music with some great local bands and singers.”

Tickets cost £5 and will be available from the cafe or on the door.

The song will be available to buy on CD or also as a download which people can pre-order three weeks before.

All proceeds will go to Johnny’s Happy Place.

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